Former Southeast High baseball star Michael Suchy likely will start his pro career close to home.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Suchy, a junior outfielder at Florida Gulf Coast University, in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday. The Pirates took Suchy, the first local player selected, with the 161st overall pick, the 26th in the fifth round.
The Pirates not only hold spring training at Pirate City and McKechnie Field in Bradenton, but the franchise's rookie ball team in the Gulf Coast League plays out of Pirate City.
In earning Atlantic Sun Conference first-team honors, Suchy led the Eagles this past season in homers (8), RBIs (49) and total bases (124) and had a hefty .318 batting average. He showed his speed with four triples and his toughness getting hit by a pitch a team-high 11 times.
The majority of scouting reports say Suchy is a legitimate center fielder because of his speed, arm and size. They like his suddenness and body control and his ability to hit the long ball.
Read more about local players in the draft in Saturday's edition of the Bradenton Herald.